BioShock Infinite DLC gets super-difficult '1998 Mode'

Irrational Games announces new difficulty option for Burial at Sea - Episode 2 that challenges players to complete the content without killing anyone.

Following a positive fan reaction to BioShock Infinite's 1999 Mode, developer Irrational Games announced today that an even more challenging "1998 Mode" will be offered for upcoming expansion Burial at Sea - Episode 2, which launches for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on March 25.

"In Burial at Sea--Episode Two we put a focus on balance and stealth mechanics," Irrational Games creative director Ken Levine said in a statement. "As we were developing this new style of gameplay, we started to see people self-impose non-lethal playthroughs. Given the fan reception of 1999 Mode, we thought it would be cool to give them another way to play Burial at Sea that challenged their mastery of stealth tools."

The 1999 Mode, as you can see in the image above, is inspired by the stealth series Thief (which originally launched in 1998) and challenges players to complete the content without killing anyone.

Burial at Sea - Episode 2 is set in the original BioShock's underwater city of Rapture and puts players into the shoes of Elizabeth. It follows Burial at Sea - Episode 2, which GameSpot scored a 5/10, with reviewer Kevin VanOrd saying: "Burial at Sea seems a prime example of the tail wagging the dog, and the result is an adventure with fantastic sights and sounds that don't come together in a meaningful way."

Last week, Levine surprised many when he announced that Irrational Games was "winding down," meaning all but 15 staffers had lost their jobs. Levine is working on a "smaller, more entrepreneurial" project for Take-Two with those remaining at the company.

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and you can follow him on Twitter @EddieMakuch
Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.

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Discussion

58 comments
dlM0kn
dlM0kn

ok so episode 2 is coming out March 25th for the consoles...Whens the pc version gonna get released?

Matthew_Bester
Matthew_Bester

Ahhh, "Would you kindly?" sounds so good to hear that again in an Irish accent, did they make you say it Danny?

NTM23
NTM23

Why do so many (GameSpot and IGN) have such a hard time to put the correct date on? Here it says 1999, and IGN says 1997. I mean, slow down when you type if that's a problem. Just saying.

quakke
quakke

*Super difficult* 1998 mode, eh?


I ain't taking that seriously, until you get rid of the completely generic modern gameplay mechanics, which make a game easier by slowing it down. In other words, sprint, aimdownsights, shieldregen and weaponlimit needs to go.

faizanhd
faizanhd

"The 1999 Mode, as you can see in the image above, is inspired by the stealth series Thief (which originally launched in 1998) and challenges players to complete the content without killing anyone."


Oh , so 1999 mode is inspired by a 1998 game huh ? Nice. Very nice.

gamingnerd121
gamingnerd121

1999 Mode was not that amazing, honestly. It was just more of the same damage sponge enemies.

PosiTVEMinD355
PosiTVEMinD355

Why not just release a remastered version of System Shock 2 for PS4/X1?

hystavito
hystavito

You can play Infinite stealthy?  I never would have thought so.  Or is it only this DLC?  It's still surprising regardless.

aegis_kleais
aegis_kleais

I hope Irrational goes out with a boom.  Infinite has been the only game for me that tied my all-time favorite game, but the DLC has besmirched the name of the series.  The first DLC was an arena add-on, and Episode I was laughably lackluster in so many ways, I felt an entirely different developer was responsible for it.  I really hope Episode II gets things back on track.  

senorbusyman
senorbusyman

burial at sea episode 1 was great & a mindfuck i gived it an 8 out of 10

DefconRave
DefconRave

Inifinite's 1999 mode was just enemies with alot more hp. Found it boring and frustrating. especially since you can't sneak around them.

Zjarcal
Zjarcal

I wasn't a fan of Infinite's gameplay by any stretch of the imagination and the ending pretty much soured me on the whole story, but this 1998 mode actually seems right up my alley, may end up picking the DLC just for that.

varmintx
varmintx

Saw "1998" and "stealth mode" and immediately thought of Metal Gear Solid.  Oops...not the only stealth game released in 1998.

DETfaninATL
DETfaninATL

Why exactly do I want to play a first person SHOOTER in which I don't shoot?

Hurvl
Hurvl

"Burial at Sea - Episode 2 is set in the original BioShock's underwater city of Rapture and puts players into the shoes of Elizabeth. It follows Burial at Sea - Episode 2" Oh, Burial at Sea - Episode 2 follows Burial at Sea - Episode 2? Damn, that's more mindfucking than anything in Bioshock Infinite.


Also, if 1998 mode is a no killing mode, why is she carrying a weapon? Is it armed with non-lethal ammo?

Sushiglutton
Sushiglutton

Making stealth games is hard. I have my doubt about Irrationals debute in the genre via a DLC. 

DIGN
DIGN

How can a game get DLC if the devs shut the studio down?

tinyname
tinyname

1998 mode is difficult...if you're a bitch.


They don't make games that challenge my skill level.

jodiejones12
jodiejones12

man this stealth based play in dlc feels forced, I never sneaked around in story

princetom
princetom

hmm... look kind of familiar.. Ohh I know, there ripped off thief

wgerardi
wgerardi

Anyone else confused by this recent bandwagon of geeks who think Infinite wasn't the shit? That game was so fucking awesome. It reminds me of when The Dark Knight came out and everyone universally loved it, forcing pseudo-film-snobs to pretend they didn't.

faizanhd
faizanhd

@PosiTVEMinD355  

That would be waaaayyy too much work. System Shock 2 is a bigger game than Bioshock 1 and Infinite combined.

tinyname
tinyname

@DETfaninATL  deus ex and dishonored.  Two brilliant FPS that require no shooting.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@Hurvl Maybe it's some kind of spicy probe?  "The burns won't kill you, but you'll wish they did."

Zjarcal
Zjarcal

@DIGN  The DLC was already done before the shut down.

Pyrosa
Pyrosa

@DIGN Bioshock Infinite itself explains this pretty well.
  (Tears in the time-space continuum)

roman4545
roman4545

@DIGN You dont remember the other game ? Army Of Two the 3rdgame hit their layoff and shut down their entire studio BEFORE they release the game like what ? one month ahead ? And still they did release it !


So this DLC... not much of a surprise.

Hurvl
Hurvl

@jodiejones12 It's just a mode, an option, you can complete the DLC without going anywhere near this mode.

CyrenII
CyrenII

You are either a troll or an idiot. Ken Levine, creator of BioShock, was one of the creative leads behind the original Thief

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

@princetom  well, they already admitted that they got the idea from Thief


"The 1999 Mode, as you can see in the image above, is inspired by the stealth series Thief (which originally launched in 1998) and challenges players to complete the content without killing anyone."

MHzBurglar
MHzBurglar

@wgerardi  

Not all of us are bandwagon jumpers.  I've disliked Infinite since I first played it.  And I had the misfortune of pre-ordering the collector's edition for PC on the belief that it would be as enjoyable as its predecessor (the premium edition, not the Songbird edition thankfully.)


I still feel ripped off for spending more than $10 on a lackluster game like that.  I would have re-sold it to someone who could get more enjoyment out of it than myself if it wasn't tied to my Steam account forever.

Brakkyn
Brakkyn

@wgerardi There were two kind of people after BioShock: Infinite was released and played through--your category (people who liked it), and people who thought it was ridiculous.  I was in the latter.  There wasn't much of a middle ground.

I didn't like "The Dark Knight", either.

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

@tinyname @DETfaninATL  Deus Ex is an RPG and Dishonored is a stealth/action-adventure game. The games being in first person does not make them FPS. Same with Metroid Prime, not an FPS.


Also @DETfaninATL, what's wrong with a game giving you options ? If you want to shoot, then do it.

Jay2528
Jay2528

@freedom01 I guess he did not read the article before posting, too many people are guilty of that online.

wgerardi
wgerardi

@Deadlysyns87 @wgerardi True. The Joker also had a thinner physique in the comics, while Heath Ledger was pretty average height/weight which really ruined the film for me. Also it was so lame how Batman's costume wasn't like in the comics, I just couldn't take the film seriously.

R4gn4r0k
R4gn4r0k

@ShimmeringSword @R4gn4r0k  Nicely said. And yeah, genres do blend together. Look at all the RPG style unlocks that multiplayer FPS have these days.

In most cases, genres blending together, is a great thing.

ShimmeringSword
ShimmeringSword

@R4gn4r0k Deux Ex can be played like a shooter, and Bioshock can be played like a stealth game. Bioshock isn't really an FPS either, but it's an easy term to apply to any game that features a lot of shooting. What genre they're in doesn't really matter, and the lines of different genres are becoming more blurred all the time.

Jay2528
Jay2528

@freedom01 Right, it was Looking Glass Studios if I am correct that developed Thief among other games. Ken Levine and many others worked at that studio.

freedom01
freedom01 moderator

@Jay2528 @freedom01  also like what Cyrenll said, Kevil Levine is also the creator of the original Thief, there should be no surprise if he got any ideas from his previous work

wgerardi
wgerardi

@Hurvl @wgerardi @Deadlysyns87  lol I was just being sarcastic- I don't give a fuck about stuff like that. The tumbler was awesome, especially when I first saw it in Batman Begins.

DamnILoveGames
DamnILoveGames

@wgerardi I enjoyed all of it apart from the gunplay, and when that's what you're doing for most of the game it doesn't really help.